Friday, September 1

CDP Top 30 Posts Of All Time - #28.

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"Adventures In Broadcasting."
(Originally published 03-15-05.)

I have always wanted to be an announcer.

This comes as no surprise to people who know me. When other kids were dreaming of making the last second shot that wins the NBA Championship, I was dreaming of what I would say on the air shortly thereafter. I quickly put all thoughts of becoming an actual athlete behind me once I turned 13 and still wasn't tall enough to ride the Gravitron at the county fair. I have to play to my advantages.

In the case of broadcasting, I have an encyclopedic knowledge of trivia and statistics, along with a leathery-smooth radio voice. I think I like sports, too.

When I was a Sophomore in High School, me and my friend 'Vinny' were offered the job of announcing the Winneconne Wolves basketball games. This was a big deal to me, as previously mentioned. Me and Vinny worked on our routine and rehearsed for a week before the big game, learning how to pronounce names and carefully selecting music for time outs.

I forgot to mention that this particular game was basically the biggest of the year. This was the game in which we hosted our cross-town rivals, the Omro Foxes. The place would be packed, and the game would be huge.

True to thought, the seats were packed just as we finished setting everything up for the evening. The sound was just right, the music was cued up, and we took our places behind the scorer's table for the first of (hopefully) many nights behind the microphone. Little did I know that in less than 2 hours, I would be right in the middle of the biggest Winneconne sports controversy in years.

Because Vinny managed to get the job for us, we made the deal that I would announce the Junior game, and he would do the big Varsity game. (Is that what they're called? Junior and Varsity? I can't remember anymore. Feel free to correct me.) It was a good call for me to do the first game. People were still filing in, and nobody seemed to care all that much. I did a flawless, professional job, and I got nothing but compliments from passerby as I exited the gym in between games.

I began to help Vinny set up for the big headlining event, and I realized something a bit disturbing. You see, Vinny is somewhat of a showman. More accurately, he craves attention. I love the guy, but he loves to chew the scenery whenever he can. I instantly realized that he was going to attempt to put the focus on him that night, instead of the big game. (Any professional broadcaster will tell you that's the cardinal sin of the job; always know your place.) It looked like he was getting ready for a stint on a wacky morning radio show. I was afraid, yet too compelled to turn away.

The gym got crazy, and the game was underway. I was working sound for the game (done perfectly, may I add), and Vinny immediately went into his shtick. He introduced himself with some wacky nickname, much to the anger of the Winneconne head coach. After the introductions, he settled into game mode, and things went fairly well up to halftime. The music was supposed to cue for the cheerleading squad, but through no fault of my own, something went wrong. The cheerleaders stood in the middle of the court amongst silence and tumbleweeds, waiting for something, anything to bail them out.

Where most professional broadcasters would scramble for stats or something relating to the game, Vinny had a random person from the audience come onto the mic and tell a story. Thinking back, I'm almost positive this person was Ben. Thinking that this was somehow part of the act, the raucous crowd got collectively and humorously quiet, listening intently to what this person (Ben) had to say. Of course, he had nothing to say, and stumbled through a story about a cat, or something to that effect. The downward spiral was careening out of control at this point, and people were starting to get upset. Tension was thickening.

The second half was a tightly contested match. Vinny got mostly back to business after a good scolding, and when the game got right down to the wire, he knew better than to do something stupid. Unfortunately for the hometown crowd, the Wolves lost to the Foxes at the very last second.

I cued the exit music, the mostly depressed and angry crowd started to leave, and Vinny started an impromptu speech into the microphone. This wasn't the time nor the place.

Never one to keep his opinions and feelings to himself, he said "To you Omro fans, I hope you get into a car accident on your way home".

Or something to that effect. You see, I was a few rows up from the scoring table, messing with the stereo. What I DID hear was the collective gasp from about a thousand people.

That's when all hell broke loose.

All at once, about 80 screaming people started heading right towards me, pointing fingers and flinging accusations left and right. I had no idea what was going on, all I knew was that I had to say something. I've done a lot of nice things for Vinny in the past, and blindly sticking up for him was something I was good at. Had I known what he said, I would have been the first one down there to kick his ass. Instead, I waded into the unruly mob, playing mediator so he wouldn't be murdered.

So, there I was. This was supposed to be the coolest moment of my High School career, and all at once I was surrounded by a lot of parents and students that wanted to badly hurt me.

What did I do?

I started fighting.

Frankly, I didn't know what else to do. "Take it up with the school!" I said, pushing and shoving. "Apologize!" They fired back, as Vinny quietly snuck his way out of the gym. "For what?!" I replied to the mob. I got right back in their faces, a collective uncorking of 16 years of hatred for PTA parents and jackasses on the school board. I didn't really care what the reason was at this point, I just wanted a reason to yell back. "I hope your happy!", some old guy yelled. "You're gunna get expelled!"

"Take it up with the school!" This was the only comeback I could muster.

I did this for a few more minutes, then I managed to escape just before people started getting escorted out. Nobody got hit, but I'm really surprised that I didn't. Only much later, did I catch up with some friendly faces, who told me what had happened, and what I put my ass on the line for.

I wanted to kill Vinny. Not only was I going to get suspended at best, I was going to be banned from announcing Wolves games for life. I fought in the bleachers with nearly 100 people because of a single foolish comment that I didn't even make. Unbelievable.

A few days later, Winneconne's principal issued a formal apology in the local paper, and I was thankfully cleared of all charges. Vinny was hit with a suspension, and had to write a lengthy paper on broadcasting. I was told to keep a watchful eye on the company I kept.

The kicker?

He got the announcing job back. I didn't.

Thursday, August 31

CDP Top 30 Posts Of All Time - #29.

CDP Top 30 Posts Of All Time - #29.
"Hired Goons."
(Originally published 06-03-05.)

I'm in a bit of a creative rut right now.

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Personally, I blame the weather. Who can focus on anything longer than 4 seconds when you're constantly peeling yourself off of the furniture? I have an anniversary coming up coupled with a week-long trip to Canada, and I can't for the life of me think of anything entertaining to talk about. Perhaps this vacation is just what I needed.

Don't get me wrong, sitting around the house is great. However, I've been feeling mostly worthless lately. Not only because my creativity has taken a backseat to humidity, but because I'm dropping the ball around the homefront as well. Normally, I'll get home and clean the house before the Missus shows up. I pay the bills, balance the checkbook and sometimes even make dinner before she arrives from a job that's much more difficult than mine (she works on the kill floor of a turkey slaughterhouse). I'm happy with the routine, and the Missus is content.

Nowadays, I come home sweaty and ripe. The humidity makes me feel as if I'm walking through broth, and the only thing I want to do is sit down until dinner is ready. The most I do before the Missus arrives is play a little Mario Kart on the GBA, and change from khakis to jeans. Lazy.
I'll get out of this rut, I always do. The problem is that I still feel worthless. What I need is a little motivation.

What I need... is Tony Little.

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If Tony Little can't motivate you, then you're already dead, brother. This guy was a two-time national body building champion who almost lost everything in a horrible automobile accident some time ago. Since then, his Ab Isolator along with his Gazelle (pictured) have changed his life and the lives of millions of others (quoted directly from memory, I watched a lot of late-night infomercials in the 90's).

Quite simply, this guy's going to whip you into shape, or at least scream in your ear until you write him a large check. I was on board.

After some light travel and dining arrangements, Tony was on his way to my house. I was worried that he would be disgusted by what I had become, but I knew that I was doing the right thing for myself. This was going to get me back to top form, and maybe I'd get a cool Gazelle out of the deal. I tried one of those at Dick's Sporting Goods a few months ago, and I tore my groin so badly that the assistant manager could hear it snap all the way over by the pool tables.

I was laying on my couch with a bottle of New Glarus Spotted Cow beer, when Tony Little kicked in my door, leaving splinters and scattering cats in his powerful wake. He wrestled the beer from my tight grip and smashed the bottle over his head, shaking the shards out of his beautifully groomed, curly blonde hair.

Then he kicked my ass.

It felt like an hour. Maybe two. Turns out it was only a few seconds, but I swore I was going to die. The last thing I remember was Tony raising his massive "Mr. America" trophy over his head, and then everything went dark.

When I woke up, I was a new man. Tony was gone, and he even cleaned up the house (it was included in the fee). The only proof that he was even there came in the form of an Ab Isolator, sitting on my kitchen table with a red bow on it. I was stunned, and most importantly, I was a man again.

It's only going to get hotter as the months roll on, but thanks to Tony Little and his beating me to within an inch of my life, I'll function like it's October all year round. What can't that man do?

Read. That's what Tony Little can't do. Tony Little can't read.

Wednesday, August 30

CDP Top 30 Posts Of All Time - #30.

CDP Top 30 Posts Of All Time - #30.
"Good Morning, Dark Lord."
(Originally published 04-05-04.)

Mediocre At Best - 2001.

I'm only going to tell this story one more time.

Not only does this week mark the 3rd anniversary of Mediocre At Best's historic trip to Marquette, Michigan, it also marks the 100th time I've told the story of the events. So listen closely, please.

It was April 7, 2001. We had been invited to Marquette by a wonderful young lady named Mercedes. She was doing her best to keep the Upper Michigan punk scene alive by booking bands from further and further south. We had met her at a show in Green Bay some time back, and were more than happy to make the trip. Her folks owned a nice little roadside diner and motel, so we all got to stay there for free. This was all we needed to hear, so we packed our equipment, and hit the road.

We had to take 2 seperate vehicles for the drive. The Missus ('the Girlfriend' at the time) and Aaron rode in the van, and me, Ben and Sherry went up in the Chevy Lumina (RIP). The idea of an all-day drive without the Missus nearby was more than a little annoying, and I spent the whole day telling Ben and Sherry that it was so. I got over it, or eventually bitched myself to sleep, or had a ball gag put on me, I can't remember.

The drive north was beautiful. There was still snow on the ground, lush forests, and no civilization for hours at a time. On the way up, we spotted an out-of-business drive-in with a giant chicken on the top of it. Sensing a great photo-op, we snapped the picture you now see atop this post. Once we started seeing the Canadian flags, we knew we were getting close. Having never been to Canada, I'm sure that Marquette is the closest thing to it that we have in the states. It was a really neat, surreal place.

We get to the motel, meet Mercedes and the two other Wisconsin bands that were on the bill for tonight's show. First on stage was the Green Bay ska nightmare known as the Kremlin Conspiracy. Then, Milwaukee's Day Kepler was up, followed by yours truly. The headliners were the local heart-throbs known as Milton. We didn't get to meet them until we got to the venue, which wasn't much of a lost opportunity. The Kremlin Conspiracy opted to stay in a different hotel, because they wanted to swim in a pool and steal towels. This bothered me none.

We chatted a bit with the Day Kepler folks, and got along as well as strangers could. After some dinner, we headed out to the Aurora Underground, deep in the heart of Marquette.This venue was great, but a building can only do so much. It was the inhabitants of the building that we had some trouble with. First off, security wouldn't let Sherry in early because she wasn't in the band. We pissed and moaned for a while, but being the nice guys we are, just let them go on their power trip, and threw her out into the cold. Sort of. The kids in attendence were just as bad. They valued image over talent, and refused to be impressed by anything, not because they were critical and intelligent, but because they wanted to be jerks. Not only that, but the long drive had taken it's toll on us too. We were all pretty much fighting with each other most of the night so far.

I had just turned 19; the Missus was 17. Damn

So with everyone mad at each other, and everyone in the crowd already angry, the Aurora Underground was in for an interesting night. The Kremlin Conspiracy came and went, the crowd didn't care much, and more or less booed them off the stage. Sensing animosity, Day Kepler knew what they had to do. They stepped up there, and unleashed a non-stop barrage of insults and jokes at the expense of Upper Michigan. There were boos, things were thrown, and good rock music was played. It was hilarious, and actually got most everyone there in a better mood.

The band was doing this thing where they would dedicate every song to Satan for some reason, as confused onlookers shrugged and flipped them off. However, people starting moving around and enjoying themselves. I was surprised that Day Kepler left without injury though.

So, when we took the stage, we also knew what we had to do. We didn't give them a chance to dislike us, because we immediately started freaking out. We channeled a day's worth of anger and uneasiness into the most energetic show of our short careers. People were hurt, blood was shed, things were thrown, and the crowd loved it. The set ended with me throwing my cymbal stand (and myself) through the drumset. We were liberated, happy, and done. We sold a few CD's, listened to an overrated Milton play, and headed back to the motel.

The next morning, I rang up Day Kepler (pretending to be Satan), wishing them a safe drive home, and thanks for playing with them and whatnot. Mr. Bojangles, the resident cat of the motel, greeted us in our room and almost got kidnapped by us. The five of us then went to the downstairs restaurant for breakfast before we headed home. The place was full of people, and we stuck out like a sore thumb. There were about 50 or so after-church, conservative, republican breakfast munchers there.

We began talking about last night's show, and about how funny we thought the "Satan" bit was.


Now, there's some controversy about what happened next, but I can say with relative certainty that Ben was talking about 'Satan' way too loud around these people. Some people think that it was me doing the talking, but it wasn't. I only started talking when people started to yell at us.

My friends are big babies when it comes to being assertive, so I had to take the reigns and fend off the protest. After some dirty looks and harsh words, someone came over to our table with a Bible or some type of scripture book, telling me to take it with. Say whaaaat?

Here's where my friends are split. They think I should have just taken it, said thanks and left. But I know I did the right thing. This person had no idea what we were talking about, had no idea that we were totally kidding, and had no idea what kind of people we were. They were completely overstepping their boundaries, and I absolutely hate it when people do that. I slam my door on preachers, and that's what I did here. I basically told her to go away, and to leave us alone.

I was diplomatic but firm. I could have just as soon told them all to go to hell, made devil horns to the whole damn diner, and left knowing I'd never have to see any of them again. But I didn't, yet I still come off like an ass.

Eventually, this woman's Husband restrained her, and we all got back to finishing our breakfasts. We left Marquette, seperate cars and all, never to return. Memories.

Epilogue: 2 members of Day Kepler would go on to form a band called Chevalia Manta, whom we would play another infamous show with some time later. They then went on to a band called the New Blind Nationals, who still play around Wisconsin to this day. Check them out, they're good.

Milton, The Kremlin Conspiracy and Mediocre at Best would eventually break up in later years. We lasted the longest though, and made the most artistic progress.

Mercedes was never seen or heard from again. We still have a picture of Mr. Bojangles on our refrigerator.

Monday, August 28

CDP 2006 Fall TV Preview.

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With the Emmy awards over, the 2006 Fall Television Season officially begins. Here's your guide on what to watch and avoid, courtesy of your friends at the CDP.


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(The Simpsons is older than most of my friends.)

6:00-6:30 - Everybody Hates Chris (CW)

Easily the funniest show on the newly formed CW Network (UPN and the WB are harnessing their powers in an attempt to compete with the 'Big 4'), we get more Wonder Years-style nostalgia comedy (except with black people!). Here's hoping a newer and earlier timeslot will give this show the attention it deserves.

6:00-7:00 - America's Funniest Home Videos (ABC)

Still rolling strong in their 17th season, AFV has delighted us in more testicle-related injuries and public humiliations than any other show in television history. Lowbrow or otherwise, I watch AFV when I want to remorselessly laugh as hard as possible. I'm not even close to sorry.

6:30-7:00 - King Of The Hill (FOX)

After rumors of a cancellation last season, King returns for what will probably be their actual last season. Mike Judge has proved for two decades now that he is the master of subtle culture satire, and King, although lacking in the later seasons, refuses to compromise. Also, I met a guy this year that looks and acts exactly like Dale Gribble.

7:00-7:30 - The Simpsons (FOX) - BEST BET!

At the age of 18, The Simpsons is officially old enough to vote, and will be celebrating their 400th episode towards the end of this season. Little else is known about this FOX animated series; if you have any information, please e-mail me.

7:00-8:00 - Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (ABC)

Do you like terminally ill people? Folks that have it harder than you? Folks that pretend to have it harder than you so they can get a free house? Watch Extreme Makeover: Home Edition! It's all worth it for the last 15 minutes, as you get to see the beautiful finished product that the family won't be able to afford once the electric bills show up. Honestly, if you can't work or properly function, how will you be able to keep the lights on in a three-story house?

7:00-10:00 - Sunday Night Football (NBC) - NEW!

John Madden & Al Michaels make the jump from Monday to Sunday nights with NBC's new NFL contract. Watch as Al continues to be the best broadcaster in the business, all while trying to cover up the fact that John Madden's been drinking in the Maddencruiser all day.


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(Dear Michael Rappaport: Stick to Woody Allen films.)

The War At Home (FOX) - WORST BET!

Malcolm In The Middle is out, The War At Home is in. Ever feel like you've been cheated? This All In The Family knockoff (with a FOX attitude!) lacks in that it's not nearly as funny or groundbreaking as All In The Family, which wasn't all that funny to begin with. If I wanted to listen to ignorant white men rant about ethnic stereotypes, I'd go to more family reunions.

American Dad (FOX)

Seth MacFarlane needs to harness his energy into just one show that sucks, instead of two.

Family Guy (FOX)

I cannot, cannot, cannot believe this show is back. Family Guy reminds me of when Married...With Children was in its last season, and every episode looked like it was written in real-time. Story arc? Character development? Anything even remotely resembling a three-act production? Nope. Family Guy continues to molest the 'one-off' joke that The Simpsons destroyed over a decade ago.

The Amazing Race (CBS)

Yes, this show does win the emmy for Best Reality Program every year, but honestly, that's like winning 10 cents in the lottery. As is the case with most reality programming, the slew of knockoffs have rendered this show stale and saturated. Like everything else on CBS. Get a new idea, folks.

Desperate Housewives (ABC)

If you have serious celebrity issues like I do, then you'd never be able to fully enjoy Housewives. Thinking of all the backstage squabbles and petty spats about money makes me sick, and it completely overshadows the interesting writing and throwback atmosphere. Besides, I heard that the last season sucked out loud; regardless of how purty Eva Longoria is.


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("Hi, do you have any hand sanitizer I could use?")

6:30-7:00 - Cheap Seats (ESPNC)

MST3K + Terrible old sporting events = Cheap Seats. If you're not sold on that, you're an idiot. I wouldn't tell you to watch something on ESPN Classic for any old reason.

7:00-8:00 - Deal Or No Deal? (NBC)

Watch in horror as greedy Americans destroy their chances to walk away with a fair amount of cash, and enjoy Howie Mandel trying very hard not to touch anything. Deal!

8:00-10:00 - Monday Night Raw! (USA)

I started watching Raw in June, and God help me, I'm hooked again. Don't try to save me; I'm happy with the choices I've made. The most popular show on cable television is also the best guilty pleasure (and the most entertaining) show on Monday night. Whooo!

8:00-11:00 - Monday Night Football (ESPN) - BEST BET!

I'm a little upset that Theisman and company get to take over MNF this year, but if anything, it's a chance to watch the Packers lose on a whole other network.

9:00-10:00 - Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip (NBC) - NEW!

Much like 30 Rock, Studio 60 deals with the behind-the-scenes events concerning a late-night sketch comedy show. This show seems to be taking a more dramatic approach, however, and it will be interesting to see how viewers respond to Matthew Perry in a non-sucking role.


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(Everything > The Bachelor.)

Prison Break (FOX)

They just got out of prison now? How much longer can this 1-season idea drag out?

Two And A Half Men (CBS)

Don't let Charlie Sheen near any children. Growing up is hard enough already.

Wife Swap (ABC)

Want to revitalize this show for a new audience? Make the swap permanent.

The Bachelor (ABC) - WORST BET!

Show #2 of the 'Shows For Women Who Don't Care What They Watch' Trilogy is just as tired as Show #1. This sort of reality programming is about as fresh as a corpse.

What About Brian (ABC)

I watched the pilot episode of this program. When it was over, I remembered nothing. Then I realized that I had been in a coma for three weeks. Don't make the same mistake I made.


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(Exploding eyeballs, testicles and hearts, oh my!)

7:00-8:00 - Standoff (FOX) - NEW!

Follow the action-packed lifestyles of hostage negotiators. Plus, that dude from Office Space is in it! I must say that I'm already disappointed with this show. At first, I thought the entire season revolved around one standoff, when in reality they have a new one every week. Not captivating; you need a hook!

7:00-8:00 - American Idol (FOX-Midseason)

It's back to destroy you in January. If the new group is even half as talented as last year's crop, I'll be a happy guy. Also, can't Katharine McPhee just stop by every once in a while to demonstrate how devestatingly hot she is?

8:00-8:30 - The Knights of Prosperity (ABC) - NEW!

Here's the official release from ABC:

From the creators of Ed comes a sweet, hilarious, tale of haves versus have-nots. For almost 20 years, Eugene Gurkin has dreamt of opening a bar, but his dead end job on the late, late janitorial shift won't even fund a bottle of premium booze. Call it divine intervention, call it a dumb idea, but whatever it is takes hold of Eugene and soon he recruits a group of misfits into his "gang" for a heist to finance their dreams. The target: Mick Jagger's super-luxe Central Park West apartment. Working together, this band of new-age Robin Hoods, who have never even shoplifted a candy bar, are soon casing the joint and prepping for their crime.

I'm there.

8:00-9:00 - House (FOX) - BEST BET!

Last season's finale had Dr. House clinging to life after being shot by a disgruntled patient. The commercials claim that he won't return the same way we remember him, which leads to my theory that he'll be replaced by a robot within five minutes of the premiere. House is the gold standard for medical dramas, and the fact that it stands out from the giant pack is amazing. Hugh Laurie is the best male actor on television, hands-down.

8:00-9:00 - Dirty Jobs (DISC)

Mike Rowe is a hilarious guy. He spotlights (and participates in) some of the lowest, most vile jobs on the planet, all while maintaining respect and humor for the work. Next to Mythbusters, this is probably the best show on cable right now, so check it out while you can.

9:00-10:00 - ECW (SCIFI)

Sometimes, after a hard day at work, I like to come home and watch a guy get his forehead torn open with a barbed-wire bat. Maybe you're like me, maybe you're not. I don't care; I'm still watching ECW.


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(Welcome to the 'has-been' show!)

Gilmore Girls (CW)

Wait...this show is still on? Aren't they Gilmore Women by now?

Boston Legal (ABC) - WORST BET!

William Shatner and James Spader can both go to hell for winning Emmys last year. Anything that takes recognition from Lost is an enemy of mine.

Dancing With The Stars (ABC)

Scientists and statistitians are still trying to figure out why so many people watch this show. As if dancing isn't boring enough as is, throw in D-list celebs and you have a bona-fide crap sandwich.

The Unit (CBS)

Hooray! Another crime drama! Oh, thank you for the crime drama, CBS! I'm ever so grateful!

Law & Order: Anything (NBC)

Next season, watch for the premiere of Law & Order: Preschool Hall Monitor.


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(It's on like Donkey Kong, fools.)

7:00-8:00 - Jericho (CBS) - NEW!

I'm super-excited about this one. Here's the press release from CBS:

Thirty-two year old Jake Green plans a brief return to his childhood home in rural and isolated Jericho, Kansas, to much fanfare from his mother and friends, who have had only intermittent contact with him. Jake appears to be hiding something, as each of his interactions with one of the town's citizens elicits different explanations of why he was out of touch for so long. Despite objections from his mother, Jake plans to leave Jericho as quickly as he arrived.

During Jake's exit from town, the electronic equipment in and around Jericho begins to fail. At the same time, a mysterious, possibly nuclear explosion occurs to the west, and a mushroom cloud suddenly becomes visible above the Rocky Mountains.

With communications and power out, Jake and the small town of Jericho face the challenge of being physically and psychologically isolated from the outside world - not knowing what is left of that world, or how many others are still alive - and of finding a means of survival in the midst of panic and chaos.

7:30-8:00 - 30 Rock (NBC) - NEW!

This is the show that Tina Fey and Rachel Dratch both left SNL to produce. This looks to be one of the funniest shows of the new season; a mockumentary, behind-the-scenes look at the production of a late-night comedy show. Audience or not, I expect this show to be a critical darling.

8:00-9:00 - Lost (ABC) - BEST BET!

On October 4, it all begins again. Expect a full Season Three Preview in the upcoming weeks.

8:00-9:00 - Mythbusters (DISC)

Adam & Jamie set out to put each and every Urban Legend to bed on Mythbusters. Watch as they create ingenius contraptions and use brilliant logic to take down some of the most bizarre stories ever told.

8:00-9:00 - Ghost Hunters (SCIFI)

Roto-Rooter plumbers by day, paranormal investigators by night. This is clearly not your typical paranormal show. The TAPS crew goes into haunted places with the intent to debunk and explain away the happenings. Over the last few years, Ghost Hunters is responsible for some of the most amazing paranormal footage ever captured.

9:00-10:00 - The Nine (ABC) - NEW!

After being hostages in a foiled bank robbery, the lives of nine people suddenly become interconnected. Shows like this rely 100% on if you like the character or not, so as long as Brad Garret's not in it, we should all be good to go.


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(Fat is the new Embarrassing. Even I didn't get that joke.)

The Biggest Loser (NBC) - WORST BET!

You want to know who the biggest loser is? You, if you watch this show. Sometimes, the jokes just write themselves.

America's Next Top Model (CW)

Until gay men stop controlling the supermodel market, I will not pay any attention as to what they have to say concerning beautiful women. Sounds like a conflict of interest, if you axe me.

The Loop (FOX)

What was once a promising FOX comedy has descended into the ranks of the 'poop joke/boob joke/repeat as necessary' formula. The guy who played Detective Bookman is on this show, however, and often has the best lines. There are far too many good shows on Wednesday nights, however, to waste any time on The Loop.

Criminal Minds (CBS)

Thanks for the new forensic crime drama, CBS. Really, I can't imagine life without a billion of them.

Lost (ABC)

Hey...wait a minute...


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("I'm gunna drop a deuce on everybody.")

7:00-7:30 - My Name Is Earl (NBC)

One of the strongest comedies on TV returns for a sophomore season. Jason Lee continues to cross his past mistakes off of his list, while his wacky group of friends get in the way. Oh, the hilarity.

7:30-8:00 - The Office (NBC) - BEST BET!

At the end of last season's finale', the 'will they or won't they' tension between Jim and Pam reached a head. This may or may not spell disaster for the returning Funniest Show On Television, but as long as Steve Carrell is at the helm, you shan't worry.

8:00-9:00 - Supernatural (CW)

I honestly don't know if I'll have the time to watch Supernatural this year. It's a good, spooky and well-written show (for teens, mainly), so if you're down with a little X-Files Lite, this is the show for you.

9:00-10:00 - Six Degrees (ABC) - NEW!

From the producers of Lost, comes a show about the inter-connecting lives of people living in New York City. Wait...this is being produced by the Lost crew? Then who cares what it's about?


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(Dear O.C.: Die in a fire.)


If you need an explanation, screw you, man.

Survivor (CBS)

They're splitting up the tribes by ethnicity this season. Shhh, do you hear that? It's the sound of a dying reality show.


The forensic ratings explosion is back for another season of dead strippers and gratuitous camera angles.

Smallville (CW)

A lot of people care about what life was like for a young Clark Kent. They're called 'jackasses.'

Grey's Anatomy (ABC)

Grey's Anatomy has about as much to do with a hospital as American Idol has to do with gymnastics. It's the same group of beautiful, sex-starved 30-somethings we see on every drama, only this time they're wearing scrubs.


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(I got the Little Bastard's autograph. Seriously.)

7:00-9:00 - Friday Night Smackdown! (CW) - BEST BET!

Some people don't need 5 hours of Sports Entertainment per week. I am not friends with these people.

9:00-10:00 - 20/20 (ABC)

I miss Hugh Downs, and the way he would fall asleep when Barbara walters would talk.


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(I miss MST3K more than I miss you.)

Damn Near Everything (MISC.) - WORST BET!

When wrestling is your best bet, you should probably use Friday night to call up a friend and go play air hockey or something.


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(I could watch Cops all day. In fact, I have a few times.)

7:00-7:30 - Cops (FOX) - BEST BET!

The greatest reality show of all time (and the ONLY reality show), comes back for another season of tazerings, high-speed chases and full-blown alcoholism. Or, just another day is Wisconsin.

7:30-8:00 - Cops (FOX)

Because one episode just isn't enough.

7:00-8:00 - Dateline (NBC)

They could catch pedophiles every single week on Dateline, and I'd TiVo each episode twice.

8:00-11:00 - Saturday Night College Football (ABC) - NEW!

If you live in a college football state, you'll know how big of a deal this is. I saw the coach of the Wisconsin Badgers in a Wal-Mart last week. It ruled.

10:30-12:00 - Saturday Night Live (NBC)

With Tina Fey stepping down as head writer (to be replaced by Seth Meyers), SNL may be headed into another dark period. Will you still watch? Yes you will.


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(TiVo > Friends.)

Reruns Up The Wazoo (MISC.) - WORST BET!

Use this limited time to step away from the television and make a sandwich. Or, watch everything you've TiVo'ed over the past week.


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(Man, Flatliners was a great movie.)

Andy Barker, P.I. (NBC) - NEW!

This Conan O'Brien-produced comedy stars Andy Richter as a Private Detective. This should suffice.

24 (FOX)

Hey, 24's back! I don't watch this show, but I know that it exists, and people enjoy it.


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Arrested Development (FOX)

Any long-time fans of the CDP know that we've supported AD from day one. So long, AD; the world wasn't meant for something as beautiful as you.

Bernie Mac (FOX)

Sorry Bernie, you stopped being funny after a remarkable first season.

Sons & Daughters (ABC)

I honestly don't want to talk about this. I just hope that S&D can release their amazing 10-episode run on DVD for us nerds. This comedy was very ahead of its time, and too good for ABC.

Invasion (ABC)

In their absence, they will be replaced by 10 more Lost clones.

Will & Grace (NBC)

Don't care, not even a little.

Well, there you have it; you're guide to the new TV season. Start the debates in the comments section and get your TiVo ready. The CDP Top 30 Posts Of All Time is locked and loaded for the month of September, to be followed by the LOST SEASON THREE PREVIEW. So long, I'm going on vacation.